Simple tips to make your office safe from hackers

The National Cyber Security Alliance and Department of Homeland Security launched NCSAM (National Cybersecurity Awareness Month) in October 2004. This October marks the 15th anniversary of NCSAM. To educate American organizations and consumers, each week will feature different security tips throughout the month.

Ensuring cybersecurity at work

The third week’s (October 15–19) theme is ‘It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work’. In recent months, we’ve seen big names announcing that they suffered a data breach, including Adidas, Delta Air Lines, Facebook, GameStop, Macy’s, Ticketmaster, Yale University, and Whole Foods Market.

Security breaches bring financial and reputational damage to organizations. As such, even though NCSAM is only a few weeks away, organizations should ensure cybersecurity now.

Our simple security tips

Remember the phrase ‘keep it simple’? Well, that saying goes a long way in the cyber world. From a criminals’ point of view too, unfortunately.

So, let’s look at a few pictures to get a few tips on what to do and what to avoid.

Which of the below unattended printers are safe?


If you selected the one without documents in the document bay, you’re correct. As soon as you’ve hit print, immediately walk to the printer and collect your documents. Documents left unattended are easy targets. Intruders can walk right by and snap a quick picture. You could have just let them have personal identifiable information, such as names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, credit card information, and addresses.

Next, look at the below desks and figure out which is the safest

Screens on desks

If you selected the third desk, you’re correct. Let’s talk about what’s wrong with the first two. The first one looks OK: the displays are off. But right next to them is a notebook and some sticky notes. Both have information written on them. Too easy to steal.

Desk two featuring Justin Bieber is a criminal hacker’s paradise: the display is not locked, there are sticky notes attached displaying passwords and phone numbers, and there’s a sheet of paper with information written on it.

The third desk guarded by Captain America would be considered a ‘clean desk’. The displays are locked, and there is nothing but a mouse pad, the mouse, and a telephone headset placed on it. Criminals would not be pleased. But your boss and customers will be.

Those are the basic cybersecurity tips. If you would like to learn more about security tips, breaking news stories and the latest data breaches subscribe to our newsletter to receive daily emails.